Thursday, September 22, 2016

autumn red... outfit post

red lace blouse ~ ross, black cami ~ walmart, black patterned pants ~ costco, black flip flops ~ walmart, gold flower earrings ~ meijer

how long till i write something new on the chalkboard?  who knows!

had to include some real life: packing bins are everywhere!

It's the first day of autumn!!!  *happy dance*
Now is the time for sweaters, fuzzy socks, hats, moccasins, hot cocoa, even *more* coffee, and pumpkin everything!

*screeeeeech*  *realizes it's still in the eighties here most days and most of those things might be a tad impractical*

Oh well, those things will come eventually.  In the meantime, here is an example of what I'm wearing to embrace autumn without having a heat stroke.

I found this blouse in the junior plus section of Ross and I really like it.  The fabric is a bit stiffer than I normally wear these days (for nursing convenience), but since it isn't super long pulling it up isn't hard.
These pants are my new happy pants.  *giggle*  They are super soft (think maxi skirt turned pant!) and the print is very versatile (almost all of my solid colored shirts can be worn with them and even some patterned ones)!  I really love the cut: still loose, but not as flowy and skirt-like as palazzo pants.   Oh, and they have POCKETS (unlike all but one pair of my palazzos).  I will be wearing them a ton this fall.
My hair is just air-dried.  Sunday is pretty much the only day my hair is blow-dried each week (which is, honestly, quite healthy for it to have so much less heat!).  I am astounded at how quickly it has grown out since this time last year (most likely due to how faithfully I've been taking good vitamins since becoming a mom!).  I'm really excited to be playing around with a *slightly* new style once I can get together with my beautician in early November.
Obviously I chose the simple route with shoes for this outfit.  I used to be quite a shoe hoarder and would have gasped at how often I wear solid flip-flops now... Mommy-Rachel just laughs at Pre-Mommy-Rachel and grabs her comfy shoes once again.  *wink*  My mindset towards clothes/shoes/accessories have grown and changed so much as I come into my own as a woman.  I've learned that I don't like having tons of options.  I would much rather have three *loved* pairs of shoes.  This started last autumn/winter when only ONE pair of my boots fit my still-swollen-from-pregnancy feet!  I literally wore the same pair of black booties to church for almost two full seasons!  And I liked it...  which shocked me!  Since then my feet have gone back to *almost* their original size, but I still keep to basic favorites.
This summer I cycled between my white flip flops, black flip flops, brown sandals, and (for shopping days) gray tennis shoes.  It is sooooo much less stressful for me (the color of my outfit literally chooses my shoes for me)!  I have a couple "special" pairs for dressy occasions, but overall it is just better for me to have some good basics.  The same is happening with my wardrobe.  I'm actually really excited to have so much of my stuff packed up right now, as it is showing me how much *less* I can be happy with!  Picking a pair of earrings takes up way less time when you only have two gold options.


How are you celebrating autumn this week?  Today I am drinking out of my favorite fox mug and Rennie is wearing autumn colors.  *grin!*  Also a creamy cheeseburger soup is cooking in my crockpot... sounds pretty autumn-y to me!


Monday, September 19, 2016

steps forward, journeys back

Oh friends, the last couple years have brought so many changes.  They have brought tremendous joy, heartache, and discovery.  They have grown us as a family.  They have revealed faults, strengths, desires, and needs.
Hence, our decision to move once again.

We journeyed here (Utah) to pursue Andrew's dream of ministry in this part of the country, which is also where he was born and raised.  This time being near his parents has been an incredible blessing...  Especially in how it has allowed me to form a relationship with them and let Rennie bond with her grandparents!  As we take these next steps, our one heartache is how it will put miles between us.  But as Andrew's current job continues to strangle us in relationships, in ministry, and even in our family time, the choice to relocate has become necessary.  Andrew has also felt his pre-marriage dreams fade to be replaced by ones that belong to *us*.  In the 2+  years we have resided here, Andrew has struggled to see a future for himself vocationally and I have felt incredibly out of place in the fast-paced and often appearance/performance-driven culture.  I won't lie, our location of choice is made all the more appealing by how it will minister to and help heal our hearts.  I am so thankful that the Lord has given us an option that will help both Andrew and I to grow and flourish, personally and in ministry!

Door after door have opened, making it clear to both of us that we are being called back to Indiana.  My heart is overflowing at the prospect of returning to my beloved state, near to parents and siblings.  We will be trekking across the country a second time, this time to live in the same town as my family.  We have such high hopes for this next chapter... potentially owning our first home, getting back into ministry eventually, growing our family, and Andrew pursuing job options more to his liking.  <3  

Our lease ends right after Thanksgiving, so at that time we will be moving in with Andrew's family.  They have graciously opened their home to us so that we will have the ability to grow our savings and pay for this big move!  We're so excited to spend the holidays with them and strengthen our relationships all the more!  Then, sometime around the first week of March, we will be eastward-bound.

Please pray for us!  Andrew's job isn't difficult physically, but it has worn us both to a thread mentally and emotionally between long hours and challenging supervisors.  He will be working this job until we leave the west, which includes commuting two hours (round trip) each day while we live with his family.  To sum up our feelings at this point: we miss each other.  He is gone so much and our time together is usually spent catching up on groceries or projects.  We miss having life together.  We are hoping this will be one of many things to improve as we relocate!  Prayer for endurance in the meantime would be so appreciated.  Prayers for God to be preparing a home and a great job situation in Indiana would also be wonderful!

Thank you, again and again, for your encouragement and life-sharing with me!  It is such a blessing!

"It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And though we are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will;
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
Excerpt from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses"

Monday, September 12, 2016

mamabird life {eight}

 the faces of much-love-and-missed family!  even though they've all gone home now, the time we spent has given me such a jump-start as these next few crazy months begin!

a clean truck.  not the most creative thing to write here, but our truck is clean and andrew is super happy about it, so it should definitely be mentioned. 

to the hum of our window AC unit.  it is rather quiet in this moment.  very peaceful.

Last pictures taken with Rennie before she turned one!!!
Las Vegas airport waiting for Mom and Nat's flight.

lots of nursery rhymes.

what an *epic* time I had first with my mom and sis, then with my other sis and her hubby!  visits were long overdue and our adventures together over two and a half weeks were priceless!

restless.  very restless.

This sweet child is getting more and more adventurous!  She can now climb up onto the couch... not at all stressful.  ;-)
Aren't my sis and her man adorable?!

about how thankful i am for the 4+ years i've had as a wife to andrew!  hanging out with my newly-married sis was so fun and also made me quite nostalgic at times.  honestly, it has just kept getting better with each year that andrew and i are together!  and while we may not be as carefree as we were our first year, i would never trade it for the depth we now share (plus the joy of being parents!).

because life is funny sometimes.  toddlers make adorable faces.  husbands say crazy things.  and it is healthy to laugh.

a few pieces for autumn.  i found the *perfect* plaid shirt at ross the other day and can't wait for the weather to cool so i can wear it!!!

Jacob and Jessie are so good at uncle and aunting!

to pack!  yes. we are moving again!  hopefully my next post will fill in the details as i share where our hearts have been and how we feel the Lord leading us as a family!

less stuff, more souls.  the last two years have been very lonely and it is so easy to get caught up in the temporary when you aren't being reminded of what matters most: people... loving and serving them and letting them pour back into your heart.  we were created to glorify and enjoy God: a relationship.  we aren't meant to go it alone.  God will strengthen and comfort us when those seasons come, but we aren't supposed to stay there.  i can't wait to delve back into ministry and people as we take this next step in life!

ideas for artsy stuff.  it is all in my brain currently, but i'm excited to give this new project a try!

Ohhhhhh... the baby whisperer strikes again!  All of my siblings are SO good with Rennie!!!  <3

suggestions, anyone???  i plowed through the books i received this spring and now desperately need new reading material!!!

lots more packing and planning and dreaming!!!

my husband.  my daughter.  the roles God has gifted me in being a wife and mommy.  it can be exhausting, but beyond any temporary struggle is the grace of God and the joy He gives!!!  i don't always show it... i am so imperfect at living it... but i love Him too.